Thursday, February 29, 2024

After going a perfect eight-for-eight during February when it came to $3-million nights at the windows, The Meadowlands looks to keep the party train in motion with big business continuing into March at a facility that offers more than just the most popular harness racing in the world.

“The Meadowlands cruises into March on the heels of a big February at the box office,” said track Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. “Every card saw handle top $3 million as full fields continue to draw enormous interest in our wagering pools. As the weather warms up, we at The Big M are stepping up our on-track game, hoping to generate added excitement in the month of March.”

With St. Patrick’s Day coming in a little more than two weeks (on March 17), it’s fitting that an Irish-bred pacer has been the talk of The Big M.

Oakwood Ardan IR, a 5-year-old gelded son of Sweet Lou-Trend Setter, picked up his sixth win in as many tries – all at The Meadowlands – Saturday (Feb. 24) night at the mile oval since his arrival from Great Britain, taking the featured high-end conditioned pace in 1:52.3.

Trainer Robert Cleary has done a good job of keeping his student fresh, as his winning streak began all the way back on Dec. 16 of last year.

“He’s not bad,” said Cleary with a grin. “He does what he likes to do. Chase down horses.”

In addition to live racing every Friday and Saturday at 6:20 p.m., first-rate promotions and sports betting at the top facility of its kind in North America, the simulcast wagering season at The Big M will get a jolt of electricity this Saturday (March 2) when the first prep events for the May 4 Kentucky Derby take place.

The Gotham Stakes at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack, Fountain of Youth at Florida’s Gulfstream Park and San Felipe at California’s Santa Anita will give handicappers a first look at some of the better 3-year-old Thoroughbreds in training who have hopes of claiming a spot in the starting gate at Kentucky’s Churchill Downs for the $5-million “Run for the Roses”.

GET FREE PPs: Past performances for every race of every Meadowlands program are available free of charge by going to

IT’S ALL RIGHT HERE: The Meadowlands has many promotions coming up in the next several weeks sure to interest patrons into spending an evening at one of the more attractive destinations in the Metropolitan Area for a night out without having to deal with New York City traffic.

LAUGH IT UP: Come out to the track on Saturday (March 2), when Comedy Night returns to The Meadowlands, but don’t expect to see the show if you don’t already have tickets. It’s been sold out.

Some of New York City’s best comics will be on hand to entertain while guests take advantage of table and full-bar service.

The show will take place in the second floor Gallery. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show to get underway at 8 p.m.

The event will be hosted by Thiccbois Comedy.

The comics who will be on stage are Travis Przybylski (AppleTV+, Netflix, Hulu, Kill Tony, HBO, NBC, CBS), Rory Lutz (Last Stop Comedy, I Am Not a Robot Podcast) and featured act Aaron Berg (Amazon Prime Video).

The featured act is brought to you by Natalie Cuomo (New York Comedy Festival).

Also performing will be Andrew Ginsberg (Gas Digital), David Jin (St. Marks Comedy Club), and Marcy Smiles (Winner of the YAAAS Comedy Festival).

OH YES, IT’S LADIES’ NIGHT: Saturday, March 9, will be one for women in harness racing to shine, as The Meadowlands will again host an International Women’s Day-themed broadcast, sponsored by Clinton Tractor.

Jessica and Jenna Otten will host the in-house show on the live broadcast, and, in addition, Dawnelle Mock will be on hand for paddock and social media interviews. The night will include interviews, features and videos.

During the pregame show, Jessica will have Lauren Harmon on set as her guest “In the Sulky”.

Harmon is a lifelong horseman who is the niece of Big M trainer Rob Harmon. The segment will begin at 5:50 p.m.

FIGHT NIGHT: And in this corner…

If UFC 299 is something you’d like to see, visit The Meadowlands on Saturday, March 9, and head for the fight-night-ready Gallery.

Once there, you can catch every punch, kick and takedown on one of many TVs that will show the action. There is a variety of seating as well as a full-service bar.

The main bouts get underway at 10 p.m., with the featured fight – one that is not to be missed – serving as the final act, when bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley puts his belt on the line against fifth-ranked Marlon Vera.

MAYHEM IS MARVELOUS: The NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is one of the greatest gambling events of the year, and you can watch and wager on every game at The Meadowlands in the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The is the tournament schedule (Selection Sunday is on March 17):

  • First Four:March 19-20
  • First round: March 21-22
  • Second round: March 23-24
  • Sweet 16: March 28-29
  • Elite Eight: March 30-31
  • Final Four: April 6
  • Championship: April 8

HANDICAP WELL, WIN SOME GREEN: After a brief hiatus, The Meadowlands is bringing back a live money handicapping contest on Saturday, March 23.

There is no entry fee ($100 live money bankroll required) for players and the prize pool is a guaranteed $5,000, which will be fully funded by The Big M. The night of the contest, players must register/check-in at the Clubhouse Lobby by 6:20 p.m. A $100 betting card must be purchased to participate as this is a live money/wagering contest.

The contest format:

  • Contestants must bet a minimum of 10 Meadowlands races
  • $10 minimum bet per race; no maximum bet
  • Win, Place, Show and/or Exacta wagers only
  • One horse per race
  • Contestants keep all pari-mutuel winnings
  • Unlimited entries allowed per person
  • Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings

For complete contest rules and regulations, go here

THE GREAT EIGHT: The Meadowlands provides eight opportunities for the player to make a score trying their luck betting in pools with a low 15 percent takeout. The lineup of The Big M’s “Great Eight” is as follows (all wagers – with the exception of the Pick-7 – are carryover eligible):

  • Race 1: 20-cent Pick-5
  • Race 2: 20-cent Survivor Pick-7
  • Race 4: 20-cent Pick-8
  • Race 6: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guarantee)
  • Race 7: 20-cent High-5
  • Race 8: 20-cent Pick-6
  • Race 10: 50-cent Pick-4 ($50,000 guarantee)
  • Race 11: 20-cent High-5

CHECK OUT THE SHOW: The Big M’s live “Racing from The Meadowlands” pregame show takes place before every live race card from the Sam McKee Memorial Broadcast Set.

The broadcast begins at 5:45 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, before the live racing kicks off at 6:20 p.m.

“X” MARKS THE SPOT: Everything Meadowlands is available by going on X (formerly known as Twitter). You can check in with the Big M team for early changes, racing information and staff selections by going to @themeadowlands or #playbigm.

Stay in touch with The Big M team of Otten (@JessicaOtten1), Dave Little (@DaveLittleBigM) and Ken Warkentin (@kenvoiceover).

WITHERITE’S RACE REVIEWS: Race reviews and selections by The Meadowlands’ morning-line odds maker and program analyst James Witherite are available 48 hours before a given race card. To access, simply go to, go to the “handicapping” tab, then click “race reviews”.

SURVIVAL MODE: The track’s Winter Meet Survival Challenge, powered by 123Racing, is in full swing, and when the contest concludes, cash prizes and Meadowlands swag will go to those at or near the top of the leaderboard in the free online competition.

TrackMaster is providing Platinum Past Performances for each night of the contest. The game covers the Winter Meet and concludes March 30.

The contest began Jan. 5 with 2,323 participants, and thus far, a little more than 1,600 of those have been eliminated, leaving 709 in the hunt for the top prize.

Currently, the top three in the standings are OnTheEngine ($474.10), BleedsDodgerBlue ($431.40) and Tomahawk ($419.30).

There is also a prize for who picks the most winners, and the current top three there are joejets (21), Ramey44 (19) and Tuddyboy11 (19).

The winner will be determined by the highest total bankroll at the end of the Challenge based on a $2 across-the-board wager on selections for three designated races on each program.

The prize board:

The grand prize is $750 plus a Meadowlands swag package
The second-place prize is $500 plus a Meadowlands swag package
The third-place prize is $250 plus a Meadowlands swag package
Most Winners: $200 plus a Meadowlands swag package
Highest monthly bankroll: $100 (one winner in each month)

IT’S ALMOST BASEBALL SEASON: Got the football-season-over blues?

Cheer up! Major League Baseball will be starting regular season action in approximately four weeks, and the place to get all your action is in the FanDuel Sportsbook, which is located inside the grandstand at The Big M.

New York Yankees fans have high hopes for a big year in the Bronx, while New York Mets fans are cautiously optimistic that the Amazin’s can make a playoff run.

How about some prop bets on the locals? The under/over for wins for the Yankees is 94½. The over is -105 while the under is -115. The Mets are -105 to win more than 81½ games and -115 to win less.

The Yankees have been installed as the +130 favorites to win the American League East title while the Mets are +1200 to win the NL East.

Whatever the sport, for the latest odds, go here

The FanDuel Sportsbook is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-1 a.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m.-midnight. For cash-at-counter customers, the hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-11 p.m.